First off, I have Ho Jayegi Balle Balle from Daler Mehndi – one of the veterans of Bhangra Pop who’s been singing in this foot-tapping robust genre of Punjabi music since the 90s.
Next is a Bengali track – Hariye Jaowar Gaan, from Anupam Roy, you've encountered him before, a prominent name among the contemporary Bengali artistes – have a listen.
Finally, here’s Zakir Hussain, the finest percussionist India has, collaborating with David Holland and others to play jazz fusion.
Handkerchief, Hills and the Home of Snow.
|Handkerchief with Tibetan inspired motifs|
My home state Bengal at its northern edge is bounded by the Himalayas, and tucked into those mountainous borderlands are some places that were developed for tea cultivation and as hill stations by the British in the 19th century, so they could hotfoot it there to escape the terrible humid heat of the Indian plains in the summers.
|Credit The Himalayas have nine of the ten tallest peaks in the world.|
The Himalayas (lit Him=snow, Alaya=abode/dwelling/home, from Sanskrit) are the youngest mountain range on the planet, formed 50-70 million years ago when the Eurasian tectonic plate and the Indo-Australian Plate collided, folded and pushed up into peaks along their edges, closing an ancient ocean called the Tethys. This explains why the tallest peak in the world - the Everest, is formed of marine sedimentary rocks and contains marine fossils.
|Kagyu Thekchen Ling Monastery, Lava.|
The mountains also provide India with its source of water, being the origins of ten major river systems. Of these, the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra are central to the subcontinent's life and culture, with many key ancient settlements being located along their banks or that of their tributaries.
The Himalayas collectively have 15,000 glaciers containing around 12,000 cubic kilometre of water. The upper reaches of these mountains are permanently snowbound in spite of being located at the tropics. And the ten rivers rise from those slopes and snows. The mountains also arrest the monsoon clouds and so keep the rainfall on the Indo-Gangetic plains, simultaneously restricting rains on the leeward side, the Tibetan plateau. The range also has numerous high altitude lakes, some of which are pilgrimage points for several Indian faiths.
Gangtok, the capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim. Sikkim
was a monarchy which chose to become part of India in 1975.
According to the WWF, there are over 10,000 plants species that are native to the hills and nearly 2000 species of animals including mammals, birds and fish. Unfortunately, over 150 of those species are endangered, with the Red Panda and Snow Leopard being severely so. There are conservation efforts on but unless the threats are removed the amazing biodiversity of the Himalayas will be lost forever.
How close are you to the mountains in your region? Do they have any impact on your culture? The pick of the day from the blogs visited - Tui Snider, Historic Cemeteries.
A-Z Challenge 2020